All posts by Veteran Food Pantry

Order your Ornament today!

Take a look at our beautiful Christmas/Holiday ornament that is now available for a donation of $25 or more!  Hasten on over to our Donations page and put your order in today!

All proceeds will go to support our mission of helping keep hunger away from veterans of the Armed Forces who find themselves in a tough spot.  They’re not looking for a hand-out, just a helping hand to get them through.  Your support has made that possible for hundreds of Michigan veterans and we sincerely thank you!

Come celebrate our 2nd Anniversary at our Open House April 28th, 2017!

Come visit and see what your support has accomplished for our veterans these past two years!

The Open House will begin at 11am with the blessing of the Pantry by Bishop Joseph R. Cistone, Saginaw County Diocese, followed by a short program highlighting the its history and mission.  Light refreshments will be served.

Established in 2015 with the unique mission of supplying food assistance to struggling military veterans and Active Duty personnel,  the Pantry has since helped veterans from 11 counties in Michigan and continues to grow in scope and reach.

To date, the Pantry has recorded 800 visits by veterans with 75-80 being families with small children.

We hope to see you there!

The Pantry is a 501-C3 charity and all donations are tax deductible. 


Helping Vets from 11 Counties

IMG_0529Since opening in April, 2015, the word has been spreading about the food aid that the Pantry supplies for veterans and active duty personnel in need.   While located in Saginaw County, veterans from 10 surrounding counties have visited us for assistance.  Some have driven far distances after hearing about us just to get food for their families to stave off hunger for another week or so.  Many return for continued support, while others just needed a helping hand for a short while.

We respect the privacy of the veterans and active duty who come to us and we do not share their stories, but some of them are heartbreaking.  It’s tragic that anyone who has served this country should be hungry and in need.

Requests for donations are thick in the air this election season, but if you can, please consider a donation to help us keep our shelves stocked and full for those veterans who come to us.  Thank you!

Abele’s Greenhouse Memorial Day Event for the Pantry!

Abele logo




A food drive and fund raiser will be held at Abele’s Greenhouse this Holiday Weekend to celebrate Memorial Day and benefit the ‘I SUPPORT THE 1%’, VETERAN FOOD PANTRY, located at the Harry Browne Airport, Air Museum Building in Buena Vista. This 501 © 3 non-profit organization is licensed to help veterans of all branches of the military in need through a well-stocked food pantry operation. The Pantry just celebrated our first anniversary and we are thankful for all the support Abele’s Greenhouse has given us in our first year. Here’s their announcement of the event:
We at Abele’s Greenhouse are busy getting ready for an eventful Memorial Day. We will once again be working towards supporting our local veterans. On Saturday, May 28rd, a local organization, ‘I Support the 1%’ will be joining us at the greenhouse. Together we hope to make people aware of local men and women in need who have served in the armed forces. For the last 3 years we were able to help local service people. We raised almost $4000 plus getting over 2 pickup truck loads of food collected in 2015.

the stand
This year we are more prepared and hope to increase that amount again. Less than 1% of the population defends the rest of us. Those men and women who voluntarily choose to wear our country’s uniforms do not want to disgrace those uniforms by standing in a food line. Too often, they simply go hungry or without monetary assistance for bills or medical needs.
On May 28th and 29th, the greenhouse will not only smell of flowers but yummy treats. We have a group of people donating their time, who will be making funnel cakes (those powdered melt in your mouth rosettes) in the greenhouse. You can even get a hot dog. We will begin our food drive immediately. The week before Memorial Day people can drop off food to help fill the pantry.
We also will have 2 different size flags available for a donation to this organization. Children will enjoy waving a red, white, and blue pinwheel. All money goes directly to the food pantry at Harry Browne Airport where Reservist, National Guard and Veterans are able to go for assistance. ‘I Support the 1%’ is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization.

It is so easy to forget the real meaning of Memorial Weekend. Please help us help them by making a stop at the greenhouse this weekend. Volunteers from ‘I Support the 1%’ will be at Abele’s 8 to 8 Saturday and noon-5 Sunday.

Thanks!  We hope to see you soon.

Janet Kolhagen, Abele’s Greenhouse

Abele Greenhouse
3500 Wadsworth Rd
Saginaw, Mi 48601
(989) 752-5625
Saturday hours 8 to 8
Sunday 9 to 5
Monday – Memorial Day 9 to 5

2015 Photo Gallery

Here are just a few photos from 2015!

Our First Year is Almost over…

Our Pantry for Veterans opened on April 17, 2015, housed in the former pilots’ lounge at the Harry Browne Airport in Buena Vista, Saginaw County, Michigan.  Our vision was to provide a place where veterans, Reservists, and National Guardsmen and women who were experiencing financial hardships could come to for help in feeding themselves and their families.

These veterans included those struggling with PTSD, wounded combat veterans, those who lost jobs due to lengthy deployments, those who just couldn’t find work in a struggling economy, older veterans who served during the Korean War, Vietnam Veterans dealing with  Agent Orange contamination, in short, VETERANS who pledged their life and honor to serve this nation.

Whatever the reason, these veterans and active duty reservists and Guards found it hard to keep food on the table for themselves and/or their families.  This just shouldn’t be happening in this country, and especially not to those who served and are serving in the Military. This Food Pantry was formed to give them a place to come to for help where their privacy and sense of honor was respected and maintained.

What has this past year been like?  How has the community reacted and how many have we reached and served?  

The short answer is that the community response has been tremendous.  Schools, stores, businesses, individuals, have all reached out and donated finances, food, and supplies to support the mission.  And each week we hear from more and more veterans who are hearing about us and realizing they can come to us for food help in their time of need.

To date, we have had close to 300 visits to the Pantry since our doors opened in April, 2015.  Many of those are repeat visits and quite a few are families with young children.  And, as the word gets out, we receive more calls from other veterans seeking help.

As we grow and reach more veterans, we sincerely ask for your continued support as we cannot fulfill our mission without you.  We do more than just fill the cupboards for those who come to us, we also let them know that they are not forgotten, that their sacrifice for our nation was not in vain, and that we, the public, do indeed have their back.

Thank you for continuing to make our mission a success! 


Holiday Happenings for our Veterans

Thanksgiving and Christmas can be difficult times for veterans on tiny budgets.  This year, I SUPPORT THE 1% was determined to make it jolly for as many as possible.

Capt Waiters and Ken assembling baskets
Capt Waiters and ken assembling baskets
Thanksgiving baskets
Most of the baskets (but not all)!

Thanks to the State Street Kroger’s, we assembled Thanksgiving baskets for 70 veterans, both single and with families.  Due to the generosity of the public who participated, we were able to include gift cards in each for them to supplement whatever they needed or desired.





The Horizons Conference Center on State Street, Saginaw.
The Horizons Conference Center on State Street, Saginaw.

For a Christmas celebration, we treated them to a delicious luncheon at the Horizon Conference Center in the beautiful surroundings they offer.  The staff at the Center worked with us to make it not just affordable, but also a genuine experience for those who might otherwise have spent the season alone.

We are so appreciative of all of YOU who make it possible for us to express such wonderful support for our military veterans.  Because of YOU, they know that the public’s words of support are not just WORDS, but a tangible reality.  Believe us, you are making a world of difference to them!

merry christmas




A Huge Thank You to the State Street Kroger!

Words fail us as we consider what the management at the Kroger store on State Street in the Green Acres Plaza in Saginaw Township has accomplished in support of our veterans, and we cannot thank them enough.

Opening Ceremony on 9/11 at Krogers
Opening Ceremony on 9/11 at Krogers

From the commemorative event on 9/11 , to the Thanksgiving food drive, to the Blanket/Gloves/Hat clothing drive, they have shown a deep concern for the welfare of our suffering veterans and have helped us

Incredible generosity!
Incredible generosity!

make food and other relief a reality for them.

As you can see, the shelves at our Pantry benefitted tremendously from the 9/11 event!





Thanksgiving baskets
Thanksgiving Baskets assembled and waiting to be given out.

For Thanksgiving, seventy of our vets enjoyed a complete Thanksgiving meal.




Cameo Santa and crew at work!
Cameo Santa and crew at work!


And, this winter, many will keep warmer as well thanks to them.



As the word gets out about our Pantry among the veteran community in Mid-Michigan and our clients increase, we deeply appreciate all those who come alongside us to meet their needs.

This Kroger store has gone above and beyond the call of service and we want to express our heartfelt appreciation!

Thank you for partnering with us and supporting our mission of service to our veterans!




Saginaw County Schools step up big time for Vets!

The Swan Valley Freshment and Pantry Director Judy Adams holding the checks.
The Swan Valley Freshment and Pantry Director Judy Adams holding the checks.

In November, the Swan Valley High School Freshman class sponsored a food drive all on their own after hearing about our Pantry and its mission.  Calling themselves “the 99% supporting the 1%”, they conducted a penny drive and raised over $550 dollars to donate to the Pantry!  We thoroughly enjoyed meeting these great kids and their teachers when they came out to deliver the donation to us!

sherwood competition! sherwood food and staff Not to be outdone, the Saginaw Township elementary schools jumped into the outreach effort as well.  Sherwood Elementary, under the inspiration of principal Mark Abenth, divided the children into the five military branches who then competed against each other to see who could gather the most.  When they held their assembly to present us with the results, they astounded us with over 5200 lbs of food!  What an amazing result!  Thank you, Sherwood!

The recipients for Hemmeter Food/Toy drive
SFC Yeartie waits with the Toys for Tots and Eastside Soup Kitchen recipients.

The final school effort of 2015 comes from Hemmeter Elementary, under the guidance of principal Jim Bailey.  They raised donations for three groups: Toys for Tots, the East Side Soup Kitchen, and our pantry.  We received their generous food donations after a rousing Christmas assembly on December 23rd (surely the children were thinking of Christmas morning and the week-long vacation ahead)!

We are so grateful to all these schools and the teachers, staff, and students who have reacted with such positive action toward the mission of I SUPPORT THE 1%!  They agree with us that NO ONE who has ever served this country should go hungry.  By their positive and loving actions, they are truly making that statement a genuine reality!